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U.S. Selects Possible Contractors For $85 Billion Missile Program: Boeing & Northrop Selected

ArmchairPolitiicianDefense, September 10, 2017, by Brad Peery, www.ArmchairPolitician.US,

*The first phase of a U.S. land-based missile program replacement for the Minuteman 3, deployed in silos in the Great Plains, is underway. The first phase is a $700 million design phase, and Boeing and Northrop have been selected to compete for this business. It will include 600 land-based missiles, of which 400 will be deployed, and 200 will be used for testing.

The replacement comes at a time when China and Russia are modernizing their nuclear forces, and there is growing risk from North Korea, which has demonstrated an ICBM that might be able to reach the U.S., and recently detonated successfully a Hydrogen bomb that they will attempt to put on the ICBM missile tip.

Lockheed Martin was eliminated from what is expected to be an $85 billion program. Some have estimated that the total cost could be as high as $500 billion over the next 20 years, which is about 5% of the Defense Department budget. A decision is expected in 2020 to determine the general contractor for the Ground-Based Strategic Development (GBSD) program, including the ICBMs, new communications systems, and a refurbishment of the launch silos. Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. has announced it is building the rocket motors for Northrop.

After languishing for years due to budget cuts under the Obama administration, the GBSD program has finally been instituted as one leg of the triad of nuclear missiles, which include submarine launched missiles, and aircraft launched nuclear missiles.

This program will compete for defense dollars with contracts for new naval vessels, such as aircraft carriers, and jet fighters.
*Nuclear Missile Overhaul Falls to Small Pool of Contractors
Wall Street Journal, By Doug Cameron, August 27, 2017

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion:
The U.S. is overdue in modernizing its triad of nuclear weapons systems. The Minuteman 3 system was being designed in 1963 when Brad Peery worked on the design of a 3rd order control system for the Minuteman when he was at TRW Space Technology Labs. The defense buildup needs to continue after the Trump Presidency, since it will take at least 20 years to upgrade all of the U.S. military capabilities.

3 comments to U.S. Selects Possible Contractors For $85 Billion Missile Program: Boeing & Northrop Selected

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